Red State (2011): Kevin Smith’s Indie, Self-Distributed

Director Kevin Smith, still bet known for his breakthrough 1994 comedy, “Clerk,” talked to the audience after the premiere of his latest picture, “Red State.”

He said he was going to self-distribute his $4 million project.

Giving the middle-finger to the Hollywood system, Smith’s producer, Jonathan Gordon, auctioned the film to Smith for a mere $20.

The event first was publicized as a “live auction” for buyers, but Smith told attendees at the Eccles in Park City that the picture would be self-distributed through his Smodcast Pictures, despite the movie’s producer Gordon previously insisting that wouldn’t be an option.

Attendees hoping for a bidding war were left disappointed as Smith said he would begin a tour with the religiously touted feature, starting by releasing the picture at Radio City Music Hall in NY March 5.

Smith broke down the math on the “indie model” revealing that “Red State” cost under just $4 million and saying “There’s what they call the Lionsgate $20 million in this business,” referring to the P&A spend it takes to open an indie through a studio.

“Why does it cost five times the amount that it costs to make a movie just to open a movie,” Smith asked.

He then proceeded to do the math it would take a company like that to break even on “Red State,” saying it would cost $4 million to $6 million to buy the film, $20 million to market. Multiply that by two to cover exhibition, and suddenly you’re talking $20 million.